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Random House LLC
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The Word Exchange: A Novel Kindle Edition
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|Length: 386 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon describes a similar type of world.
In the not so distant future, the Meme, which is kind of like the most ridiculously amazing iPhone/iPad ever, has taken over. People love their Memes and rely on them a lot. Gone are books, paper, letters, dictionaries. . .
But what comes with this convenience? A virus. A word flu that is taking over, destroying coherent speech and causing individuals to become deathly ill.
Anana (like “banana” without the “A”) works at the Dictionary, where her father is in charge of one of the largest Dictionary rewrites in history. When he goes missing, and the word flu begins to rear its ugly head, Anana knows there is more to the story, including her ex-boyfriend potentially having caused this virus and disorder.
The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon was an outstanding book, written in 26 chapters each named for a letter of the alphabet. Told from both Anana’s and Bart’s (her father’s close co-worker) perspectives, The Word Exchange leaves you thinking. Are we really that far away from a society where everyone relies too much on electronic devices?
The Word Exchange is gripping, captivating, yet realistic as well. It’s the kind of book that might encourage you to put down your iPhone and check out some books, letters, or even a physical dictionary.
What word would you miss if it disappeared from the English language?
Thanks for reading,
Rebecca @ Love at First Book
The lead character, Anana Johnston, is believable as is her quirky lexicographer father and her various love interests, despite a few stereotypical hobbies and attributes on behalf of the men. For a novice author, I felt the plot twists and close calls were mostly skillful. The book really pulled me in and through to the end.
I suspect that not every reader of novels would be quite as horrified as I over the dire prospect of abstruse volumes being lost to humanity, but the arguments made by the characters and author as to the absolute necessity of words, languages, history and connection are profound.
As Ana combs through her father's possessions and snoops in the basement of the New York City building where she works, she learns that a malevolent virus is altering communication and affecting people in unpredictable ways. Ana is afraid, but not cowed. She is determined to find out what happened to her father and intent on helping to save his dictionary, which is in danger of being eradicated. Graedon's villains are blinded by greed, obsessed with power, and too ignorant to understand the preciousness of what they are destroying.Read more ›
In her debut dystopian novel of and about words and meanings, understood and not understood, Alena Gradeon makes clear that language, the importance of language, and need for language in holding not just society, but families, people, and even love together is something that we cannot do without.
The Word Exchange (published by Doubleday) is both dystopian and a thriller in one “between the covers page turner.” Set sometime around or after 2020, the story begins the sudden disappearance of Douglas Samuel Johnson, Chief Editor of North American Dictionary of the English Language and the determination of his daughter Anana’s, (code named Alice after Alice in Wonderland) efforts to discover why and possibly where he is.
Her search leads us on a wild ride of increasingly stifling technology that creates both linguistic, physical, social, political, economic, and relational breakdowns. And also introduces us to a tension which is talked about today between the history and stability of the printed word (now very much gone in the novel) verses the increasing use of technology and its own language, like texting, alongside the increasing use of visuals such as pictures to communicate.
As she travels above and below the streets of New York, we are forced to confront the corporate giant Synchronic whose Word Exchange is an effort for old words and meanings to be replaced with new ones. Words are for sale. Meaning is for sale.
We also encounter a fascinating new world of what I call Technology 4.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a fellow word nerd and dictionary hound I was, at first, delighted by this novel. Graedon packs a lot of ideas (and not a little erudition) into its pages. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Librum
Tedious at times but fun, imaginative and makes an important point about technology.Published 2 months ago by William Wimsatt
Do you sometimes regret that our digital history will disappear, contrasting it to the written word which endures for millennia? Read morePublished 3 months ago by Anonymouse
Gave up at the end of Part One.
Interesting premise, but the plot takes too long to develop. I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever did...
Arrived on time and as advertised. I will order from this vendor again.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Expected something better from the reviews, but the book was all right. The underlying concept is clever and timely, the story is good and well-paced, but the writing is simplistic... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Lee R. Frankel
Mix a thriller with a little romance and a lot of innovation, and you get this terrific book that seems custom-made for word nerds. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Erica Wright
If this book doesn't make you want to unplug; make you afraid for our language; make you want to never tweet an inane tweet again... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mother Superior
Not a light read. I found myself thinking (and talking) about it more than any other book I have read recently. Read morePublished 7 months ago by John F. Reeves
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